Hmph. Some joker complained about me to the head secretary because I was using the copy machine. She just had to have her 100 single-sided copies.

I say teachers should get their copies done ahead of time. Maybe that’s too responsible for her tastes.

Unlike her, I think ahead. Anyway, I did the same thing last week, and I timed it. I was within the 10-minute limit. Just not well within.

I was only making two class sets each of two stapled packets, each of those packets being three double-sided copies. I’m getting the jump on for next week, y’see, because I can’t in good conscience do my copies before school on Monday.

That would be rude.

Funny how silly people are when we have but the one working copy machine.

Moral of the story? I’m not actually this callous. I was simply more worried about what my master teacher would say than what the head secretary or the other staff think.


  1. dkzody

    Here is a huge tip–always keep the head secretary on YOUR side. For that matter, the whole front office staff should be your biggest fans. Secretary’s day is coming, get something really nice for the whole office staff and write a card thanking them for all they do. I can almost bet that the teacher who complained about you has done just that over the years.

  2. Yeah, word to dkzody.

    Piss off everyone but the head secretary.

  3. Third that.

    I think it may also be unfair to pick on teachers who don’t make their copies a week in advance.

    It might just be me, but after 4 years of doing this, I’m still not sure how well my kids will accumulate knowledge in any given day. I don’t do formal assessments every day, but I look over a lot of shoulders and listen to a lot of conversations, and at the end of each day, I’ve got a pretty good idea of where my kids are at.

    It’s not always where I hoped they would be. And those are the days where I go home, and a spend hours creating or reworking lessons to get better coverage. At my previous school, I could come in at 7:00 in the morning to make my copies – not a problem. At this new school, we’ve got a copy center: the copies are made for us. We’re supposed to have them in 2 days in advance, but I’ve used the above mentioned charm to shorten that to 24 hours. Even then, I feel hamstrung. I can’t respond to my students’ learning . I need to leapfrog my instructional adjustments (or, like some teachers, just forgo adjusting at all and try to squeeze them into my agenda)

    You are to be commended for preparing your copies well in advance. If you have that luxury, try to pick times when there is low demand for the copier (middle of the conference period, or after school) and you’ll not only be ahead of the game, you’ll get political capital to spend as well.

  4. Thanks for the advice, all.

    Piss off everyone but the head secretary.

    From what I hear even elsewhere, these are pretty much words to live by. If nothing else, I’ll have be working somewhere else next year. I’ll get it right, then.

  5. Oh good grief. Does ANYONE find this entire conversation absurd to the point of rage? Ben, I don’t mean this personally, let me be clear. I’m talking about the damn near *moral* implications of

    a) Having only one working copier in a building where there are, no doubt, several hundred people.
    b) Having a ten minute limit on ANY copier.
    c) The fact that the trials and tribulations of making copies has taken up enough time and energy to not only elicit master game plans from amongst your readers, but to also require BLOGGING about it.

    And people wonder why teachers leave the profession. I know why. It’s because as a cubicle wonk, you at least have the dignity of limitless copies, usually made by someone else who is paid to do it (and who probably could do it better).

  6. Naturally, I agree. But I knew all that when getting into this profession.

  7. dkzody

    Hey, Dina, I have to add a protest to your post…I have two copiers in my department, paid for by our department through grants, and we have a secretary (also paid for with grants we wrote) who will make copies if I ask her. I also have student aides who can use those two copiers to make copies for me, again, if I ask them.

    Teaching, just like business, can be very entrepreneurial if one works at it. And, just like in business, you always want to be nice to your boss’s secretary.

  8. Hannah Baxter

    “Piss off everyone BUT the head secretary.”

    Wouldn’t it be better not to piss anyone off? The more friends you have, the more favors you can get.

  9. I tend to piss people off, so I have to target who get the brunt of it.




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